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Well, all you people...
July 6, 2012
Verified Purchase
Well, all you people that keep buying this thing and making it go out of stock in one day could at least leave a review, couldn't you? Guess I'll do my own, after 4 attempts at getting one of these.

I was really interested in this pencil due to the fact that I love to use 4B lead, and it's rather annoying to have to keep clicking the feeder between every sentence or partial drawing.

While the Automac does a great job of automatically advancing the lead, it is a little weird how it does it, and I'm not sure exactly how it works, and I'm not quite sure if I like it yet or not. Based on my observations, while continuing to write when the lead is almost gone, the lead sleeve will slightly back off of the lead, to allow you to continue to write, and then as you lift up on the pencil, it will advance the lead, however, it is just barely out of the lead sleeve.

This causes a little bit of a strange writing feel, in that if you don't advance the lead yourself, you are always writing with the lead just barely sticking out of the lead sleeve. Sometimes this can cause the lead to not mark as dark of a line as you'd like, depending on the angle at which you hold the tip. If you are really slanted, when you write, this will be more of an issue, however, if you write almost vertically, it won't be an issue at all. I played around with it, and am satisfied with the movement of the lead when auto advancing. It's just something to be informed about.

As far as quality, it is a well designed and manufactured piece. At first, I thought the black portion was metal, but when I got it, I thought it was plastic, until I took it apart to inspect it. It appears to be made out of brass, and then painted with some type of really hard enamel paint. It is really glossy, and has a kind of sparkle to it, which is cool. The grip is also interesting, it is not aggressive like some others I've used, but still has enough of a grip to be useful, frankly, it almost feels soft, even though it's made out of metal, quite a different feeling than expected.

I also did not know that the tip is retractable, like a ball point pen, not just allowing the sleeve to slide back in, it's like the vanishing point pencils, which is really nice. Click gently to advance the lead, click more firmly, and it retracts the tip and a significant amount of extended lead back into the body. Pretty nice bonus.

The clip is really firm, a little more firm than I'd like, but it may keep you from losing it, if you actually put this in your shirt pocket. I put mine in my messenger bag pen slot, and it's somewhat difficult to get in the pocket, clipped in, at least.

I'm really happy about this purchase, and it will probably be my go-to pencil for a long time.
10 people found this helpful
I really want to love...
October 30, 2012
Verified Purchase
I really want to love this pencil. I carry this and a TWSBI Vac700 fountain pen. My main reason for carrying a pencil at all is for occasions when I might need to erase something I have written, otherwise I use the fountain pen. The problem is that anytime you use the eraser you end up inadvertently advancing the lead. You have to be very conscious of the amount of force you are placing on the eraser to prevent this, sometimes resulting in poor erasing. I have literally had a centimeter or two of lead sticking out in some circumstances after looking at the lead after erasing something.

The lead is advanced by a sleeve that is pushed when the lead gets low enough. However it is also advanced anytime extend or retract the tip. So if you find yourself clicking the back of the pencil to extend the tip only to write a line or two, you will essentially advanced the lead three times, once for the initial extension of the tip, once for the retraction, and a final time for the next time you advance the tip to write.

Between the eraser issues and the lead advancement on clicking the back of the pen, I find myself snapping off a lot of lead, which can get expensive if you use good lead.

All that said I still love the way this pencil feels in my hand. It has a great weight to it, is well balanced, and has a fantastic grip on it. Based on the inevitable lead breakage, I have to dock it a point thought and give it a 4/5.

If there is ever a pencil that has this build quality, with tip advancement like this minus the lead advancement issue, and with the kuru-toga engine, I'll give it a try instead. Until then I guess I'll just keep dropping more money on excess lead.
4 people found this helpful
The lead sleeve has to...
February 5, 2013
Verified Purchase
The lead sleeve has to come into contact with the paper in order to advance the lead, and then only a very small bit of lead is advanced. Otherwise it's a nice looking pen with a solid feel, but of little use to me.
2 people found this helpful
A waste of the extra...
April 22, 2015
Verified Purchase
A waste of the extra money. I found that it didn't work well at all and it ended up with a very short life. It stopped auto advancing lead, shortly after acquiring and using it. Not worth the money. I prefer the Pilot S10
1 person found this helpful
What i like: the balance...
February 11, 2013
Verified Purchase
What i like: the balance and weight feels just perfect for me.
What i am disappointed in:
1) for the cost of this pencil it should work as designed. I bought it mainly for the retractable tip. After a few months of using this pen that feature no longer works. Maybe i just received a bad sample?
2) The barely useable lead advance has been already mentioned.

If this was a $10 pencil i wouldn't even do a write up about it's failings. But at $50 i think these flaws deserve mentioning.
1 person found this helpful
Comfortable weight, great...
April 12, 2016
Verified Purchase
Comfortable weight, great balance and grip. The lead advanced naturally with my writing. This is the best mechanical pencil I've used and I'm completely satisfied with my purchase.
I love my Automac Mechanical...
January 5, 2016
Verified Purchase
I love my Automac Mechanical Pencil it by far the best Mechanical Pencil I own. I love the weight of the pencil and the lead works hand in hand with the pencil while making detail drawings.

Vernon Kimbrough
When I was in college...
December 31, 2013
When I was in college there were two mechanical pencils that all the engineering geeks wanted: the ubiquitous Pentel P205 (in blue) and the Pilot H1005. The former because they were so simple and never failed; the latter because the whole front of the pencil disappeared into the barrel making it "pocket safe." Alas, they were plastic and the temptation to put it in one's jeans pocket was too great, which usually resulted in the pencil breaking when you next sat down right where the barrel and the body threaded together. (I still have one in broken condition; couldn't bear to throw it out and still can't after almost 30-years.)

Advance to the present and the 1005 is no longer offered, but a similar pencil is now available in an all metal design: the Pilot Automac. This is a wonderful pencil that feels good in the hand, writes well and retracts fully. The "Automac" feature is an added bonus that, because of years of habit using the standard top-knock pencil, I never really use. The grip is "grippy" but not hard on the hand as some metal knurled pens and pencils can be. The pencil is heavy but balanced, and thin but not "skinny." Overall it's a good writer.

The pencil is made almost completely of metal parts. The internal barrel and the driving mechanism are all shiny metal except for the part that retracts and extends the business end which is white plastic (probably nylon) slipped onto the inside barrel and a matching part is pressed into the outer barrel. It appears to be the typical ball-point pen assembly we're all so familiar with. The external parts are also metal: a black enameled body and a barrel that I think is polished aluminum.

I've never had a fully automatic feed pencil before so I was looking forward to trying it out and find that my experience is the same as some of the other reviewers. The sleeve must rub the paper for it to work and this can cause the line/writing to be lighter though it picks up again when one lifts the pencil between lines/words. The mechanism works by the sleeve sliding up as the lead wears down, and then the lead and the sleeve spring down together when the pencil is lifted. The feel of the sleeve rubbing on the paper is a little hard to get used to after years of writing with mechanical pencils; it's hard to resist giving the pencil a knock when the sleeves starts scratching. Because of all this I don't use the feature that much, and if it weren't for the stellar nature of the pencil I might be disappointed. But it is such a good "mech" that I find that I really want it in my pocket along side my fountain pen.

The eraser is a bit small; I typically don't do that much erasing but when I do I usually have a stick eraser handy. For a letter or two it's OK but as with most mechanical pencils it won't do for much more than that. The knock mechanism is a bit light, so exuberant erasing will extend the lead.

As with most mechanicals, about a fifth of the lead is unusable when it wears down to near the end. You can advance the next lead behind it and use a bit more but it becomes more trouble that it's worth, especially if you are trying to keep up with someone.

Overall I like the pencil and give it high marks; it's hard to find a really good pencil that's metal so I feel the price is justified, the automatic feed feature not withstanding. I'm glad to have finally found a mechanical pencil that is what the 1005 was not.
I returned the first...
May 3, 2013
I returned the first automac because it stopped advancing the lead. The second unit worked for a little longer but again stopped advancing the lead. Unfortunately it lasted long enough to prevent a refund rather than a store credit. Was a great pencil when it worked, but turned out to be an expensive mistake.
Exceptional mechanical...
November 16, 2012
Verified Purchase
Exceptional mechanical pencil!
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